Crops



USDA specialty crop grants

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) announced it has awarded a total of $72.9 million in Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP) funding. The FY 2022 non-competitive awards were made to the departments of agriculture in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. USDA Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Jenny Lester Moffitt was joined by U.S. Representative Kim Schrier to make the announcement during a visit to Washington state.

The SCBGP funding supports farmers growing specialty crops, including fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, and nursery crops. USDA’s support will strengthen U.S. specialty crop production and markets, ensuring an abundant, affordable supply of highly nutritious fruits, vegetables, and other specialty crops, which are vital to the health and well-being of all Americans.

“USDA is excited to fund innovative research and new market opportunities to further support specialty crop producers,” said Under Secretary Moffitt.… Continue reading

Read More »

Digging carrots in Henry County for 66 years

By Dusty Sonnenberg, CCA, Field Leader, a project of the Ohio Soybean Council and soybean checkoff

With a 4-row Planet Jr. planter, Ted Baughman began growing carrots for the Campbell Soup Company on their farm in 1956. The Baughmans have been raising carrots, along with red beets, parsley and potatoes for Campbell’s in the fertile black sands south of Napoleon ever since.  Sixty-six years later, not a lot has changed according to Tom Baughman (Ted’s son). 

“Dad started with a four row Planet Jr. planter and a few years later we modified it to have double-disk openers and built a 6-row planter. Once we got that working the way we wanted it, we built a 12-row planter, all with Planet Jr. units,” said Tom Baughman, owner of Tom Baughman Farms, Inc. “There are some new planter technologies out there with air pressure or vacuum systems that can do a more refined job with singulation and plant spacing.… Continue reading

Read More »

Night temperatures key for corn yields

By Roy A. Ulrich, Technical Agronomist, Dekalb & Asgrow, Southern Ohio

“So, what do you think this corn and bean crop will yield?” 

This is the most commonly asked question of agronomists at field days during the month of August. Usually, the most common response from an agronomist is, “Well, it depends.” Then this is quickly followed by a synopsis of the growing season, either slanted towards a positive yield outcome or a less than favorable one, but with the caveat and easy out of “there is a lot of yield still to be built in the month of August.” So, with that thought in mind, let’s examine one of the main drivers in corn yield production in the month of August that none of us have control over: the weather. Of specific concern at the time are temperatures — not the daytime high temperatures of the mid 90s we saw in the middle of the month, but the high nighttime temperatures. … Continue reading

Read More »

Beneficial soil fungi

By James Hoorman, Hoorman Soil Health Services and Dale Strichler, Green Cove

Mycorrhizal fungi (MF) are one of the most beneficial organisms on the planet. These fungi colonize plant roots, acting as root extenders to aid roots. MF are more efficient than roots and MF benefits are numerous.

 Increased root mass. Plants allocate a certain amount of energy to the root system. In the absence of MF, plants must build root hairs, which requires a lot of energy. Plants colonized with MF do not produce root hairs and instead use a much smaller amount of energy to allow MF to perform the job of absorbing water and nutrients. The hyphae (root-like structure) of MF is about 1/16th the diameter of a root hair (1/10 the diameter of human hair), and it takes about 1/256th the energy investment per mm of length to build than a root hair. With this energy savings, MF colonized plants tend to build much better root systems.… Continue reading

Read More »

SGD field days

As fall approaches, Seed Genetics Direct, will host its annual corn and soybean field days throughout Ohio and Indiana between August 24 and Sept. 16 (see schedule below).

As farmers begin to make planting decisions for 2023, field days provide the opportunity to tour corn and soybean fields to learn and compare how new and previous corn hybrids, soybean varieties and treatments performed this growing season.  Seedsmen will also be available to provide detailed information and answer questions. Field days are free and open to all farmers.

“At our field days, growers will see our 34 corn hybrids, five of which are new genetics, as well as our 28 soybean offerings, eight of which are new. They can also learn about our technologies, sprays and treatments that increase yield and help protect from Tar Spot, Western Bean Cutworm, Black Cutworm, Barley Yellow Dwarf, Fusarium, Pythium, Phytophthora, Phomopsis, Rhizoctonia and more. If they want, they can also place an order to ensure they get the best savings, including early order discounts of $10 off corn and $4 off soybeans,” explained Todd Jeffries, vice president of Seed Genetics Direct.… Continue reading

Read More »

Herbicide carryover and fall cover crops

By Alyssa Essman, Ohio State University Extension

Establishment is one of the most important factors in the management of a cover crop for weed suppression. With later planting dates this year followed by a very dry June, conditions were right for herbicide carryover to be a concern for fall planted cover crops. The increase in precipitation events throughout July likely decreased that risk. It is still important to consider which herbicides were used during the growing season when selecting cover crop species. Potential interactions between cover crops and herbicide residue were covered in depth previously in this article (hyperlink to https://agcrops.osu.edu/newsletter/corn-newsletter/2020-29/herbicide-residue-considerations-fall-cover-crop-establishment).

Herbicide persistence is difficult to predict and varies by field and year. If there are specific concerns, it is best to perform a field bioassay now to determine potential impact of herbicide residues. To do this, collect soil from the fields where carryover is a concern, and soil from a field with no herbicide residue and a similar soil type.… Continue reading

Read More »

Lessons learned through the Blanchard River Demonstration Farms Network (Part 1)

By Dusty Sonnenberg, CCA, Ohio Field Leader, a project of the Ohio Soybean Council and soybean checkoff

Soil test phosphorus (P) numbers in the State of Ohio have continued to decline in recent years. “Much of the land in the state has soil phosphorus levels within the agronomic range. Even so, there are still some high phosphorus areas and issues with legacy phosphorus from past practices that we continue to work through,” said Greg LaBarge, OSU Extension Field Specialist, Agronomic Systems. “We are learning how slowly phosphorus changes in the soil when it is at high levels. There are opportunities to make changes, but simply employing the single practice of reducing phosphorus application is probably not going to be enough, and we need to make sure we are putting the right practice in the right place.”

Looking at the big picture, when we talk about agricultural impacts from the standpoint of water quality, there are three main components.… Continue reading

Read More »

Mum’s the word…

By Brianna Gwirtz, OCJ field reporter

Fall is “go time” for Ohio’s farmers. The days become shorter and the nights become cooler as crops all across the state are harvested and hauled to market. It is an especially busy time for Jessica Doehr who will be at work harvesting in the fields and marketing products for J.D.’s Mums and More in Grafton. Her roadside market sells home-grown mums along with a variety of fall staples. 

While she may be in the flower business, Doehr herself is all business. The wife and mother juggles the seasonal business while also owning a farm and being employed on her family’s grain and cattle operation. This year Doehr and her husband Bryan, will grow and market 6,500 hardy mums through their retail stand and sell some wholesale to grocery stores and other roadside stands. 

As a senior in high school, Doehr already knew she wanted to join her parents and farm for a living.… Continue reading

Read More »

2022 Ohio Crop Tour soybean results

By Matt Reese and Dusty Sonnenberg, CCA, Ohio Field Leader, a project of the Ohio Soybean Council and soybean checkoff

The 2022 Ohio Crop Tour was sponsored by Ohio Field Leader, a project of the Ohio Soybean Council and soybean checkoff. The Ohio State University Extension educators around the state also provided input by working with us on the Virtual Crop Tour. The in-person tour was held Aug. 8 and Aug. 9 with one group of scouts heading north and one group heading south. Each group sampled a representative soybean field. The county by county results are as follows.

A 4 bean pod

Adams County

These beans were planted May 10. They are in very good condition with little signs of weather-related stress or disease. There is some grass hopper feeding along the edge of the field. The canopy height is 36 to 45 inches with nodes spaced 3.5 to 4 inches in these 60+-bushel beans.… Continue reading

Read More »

New Soil Health Measurements

By James Hoorman, Hoorman Soil Health Services

The Soil Health Institute (SHI), a non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing soil productivity, recently announced results from a 3-year research project on identifying soil health measurements across North America.  Over 100 scientist reviewed data from 124 sites in Canada, Mexico, and the United States; comparing conventional tilled farming systems to long-term no-till, cover crops, and perennial cropping systems. 

Over 30 key soil health measurements were taken at various research sites in this project.   Measurements were taken across a wide range of climates, soil types, environmental conditions, cropping practices, and different management. Scientifically, evaluating that many sites and that much data gave the project the scientific rigor to valid these soil health measurements across many different systems. 

Evaluating soil health is all about how well soil’s function.  Functions such as water, carbon, and nutrient recycling are important for good plant productivity.  Healthy soils are able to absorb and store water, so after a heavy rain, water easily infiltrates the soil and does not run off. … Continue reading

Read More »

SGD Wheat Yield Contest

Seed Genetics Direct, the Eastern Corn Belt’s fastest-growing independent seed company, recently announced the winners of their annual Wheat Yield Contest. Cunningham and Foor LLC out of Washington Court House, Ohio earned top bragging rights with a first-place finish of 144.11 bushels per acre yield. Placing second was Jacob Cates of Williamsburg, In. with a yield of 93.78 bushels per acre. Gary Fritz of Modoc, In. earned third-place with a yield of 90.5 bushels per acre.

“We are beyond impressed with the entries we received and the winning yields!” said Todd Jeffries, vice president of Seed Genetics Direct. “The results reflect the hard work and tenacity of farmers. Our growers access top-of-the-line genetics and consistently adopt new practices to improve their wheat quality and yields.”

Cunningham and Foor planted AGI 217B, which also has the top four-year yield average in Ohio Wheat Performance Trials, on Sept. 29 at 1.5 million seeds per acre.… Continue reading

Read More »

2022 Ohio Crop Tour summary

In 2021, we had great success combining a Virtual Tour with tremendous response from participants and our in-person tour in fields around the state. With this in mind, the 2022 Ohio Crop Tour included both in-person and a virtual option to let everyone in on the yield estimating fun. The 2022 Ohio Crop Tour is made possible by Ohio Field Leader — a project of the Ohio Soybean Council and soybean checkoff. Also, thanks to Ohio State University Extension educators around the state for working with us on the Virtual Crop Tour.

The in-person tour was held Aug. 8 and Aug. 9 with one group heading north and one group heading south. Each group sampled a representative corn and soybean field in 14 counties. 

This year’s in-person participants in the north were:

• Mike Hannewald, Beck’s agronomist

• Nathan Birkemeier, Putnam County farmer

• Samantha Funkhouser, Luckey Farmer Co-Op

•  Mark Worner, Agoro Carbon Alliance, Richland County farmer

• Dusty Sonnenberg, Ohio Field Leader/Ohio Ag Net.… Continue reading

Read More »

Crops consistently inconsistent

The 2022 Ohio Crop Tour is made possible by Ohio Field Leader — a project of the Ohio Soybean Council and soybean checkoff.

By Matt Reese and Dave Russell

Variability is a consistent statewide issue for corn and soybeans due to a wide planting (and re-planting) window, along with plenty of weather ups and downs. 

“I have been in corn fields in the dough stage almost to dent, so R4. I was in one field not quite blistered yet. Silks were out but not in the brown silk stage. It makes it hard to estimate yield when pollination is not done. One benefit, though, is we just had some really nice rains and cooler, less humid weather so it may be a benefit for pollination on this later corn,” said Clint Schroeder, Ohio State University Extension Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources in Allen County. “We have a lot of soybeans that weren’t planted until June.… Continue reading

Read More »

Statewide disease levels low (so far)

The 2022 Ohio Crop Tour is made possible by Ohio Field Leader — a project of the Ohio Soybean Council and soybean checkoff.

By Matt Reese and Dave Russell

While there was plenty of concern heading into 2022, tar spot has not been showing up on any large scale in Ohio’s corn fields.

“Tar spot is the big concern but I have not been able to verify that in any field I have been in yet this year. Last year is the first year we had it in Allen County and it didn’t come in until mid- or later-August,” said Clint Schroeder, Ohio State University Extension Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources in Allen County. “Then we had the fall armyworm. That all came in county fair week last year. We do not have a ton of experience with tar spot. It is a relatively new foliar disease for us. We have to understand how to identify it and manage it if you do have it.… Continue reading

Read More »

Was planting beans first the right call in 2022?

The 2022 Ohio Crop Tour is made possible by Ohio Field Leader — a project of the Ohio Soybean Council and soybean checkoff.

By Matt Reese and Dave Russell

At least on some farms, there has been a strategy shift in recent years prioritizing planting soybeans first. Will 2022’s statewide narrow planting windows showcase the value of this plan?

“The early planted beans look good and the later beans are just so-so. There has been more of a push lately to plant your soybeans first, or at least earlier. This year may be an example of that working out,” said Grant Davis, Agriculture and Natural Resources Educator with Ohio State University Extension in Champaign County. “A lot of this later planted corn looks pretty good where the later planted beans don’t necessarily. I think there may be greater upside potential for planting beans earlier if you get the opportunity and maybe, if it comes down to it, push the corn back if you have to.… Continue reading

Read More »

2022 Virtual Crop Tour

The 2022 Ohio Crop Tour is made possible by Ohio Field Leader — a project of the Ohio Soybean Council and soybean checkoff.

For guidelines on how to submit your own entries in the 2022 Virtual Crop Tour (and a chance to win a $250 VISA gift card), CLICK HERE. All yield checks must be submitted by 6 p.m. Aug 11. Thanks also to cooperators from Ohio State University Extension for your submissions.

Virtual Crop Tour: Soybeans

Adams County 

These beans were planted May 10. They are in very good condition with little signs of weather-related stress or disease. There is some grass hopper feeding along the edge of the field. The canopy height is 36 to 45 inches with nodes spaced 3.5 to 4 inches in these 60+-bushel beans.

Adams County soybeans are variable due to a wide planting window, but looking good in the south.

Allen County

These soybeans were planted May 23.… Continue reading

Read More »

Late crops need rains to keep coming

The 2022 Ohio Crop Tour is made possible by Ohio Field Leader — a project of the Ohio Soybean Council and soybean checkoff.

By Matt Reese and Dave Russell

After a tough start to the growing season — from way too wet to too hot and dry — Ohio’s corn and soybeans seem to be holding their own. Genetics, good management and dedicated farmers have led to better-than-expected yield estimates considering the challenges of 2022.

In the far south, crops have fared pretty well amid the rolling hills and hollows of Adams County.

“There are a lot of late crops and variability, but the corn and soybeans look really good. I have been in corn fields almost starting to dent all the way to some that have not even tasseled yet. Some producers were actually planting double-crop soybeans and first-crop soybeans at the same time. But, for the most part we have been blessed with sufficient rainfall and heat to help the crops catch up and mature.… Continue reading

Read More »

More practical soil health tips

By James Hoorman, Hoorman Soil Health Services

After being on the road teaching (Iowa, Pennsylvania), I am home recovering from COVID.  Here are the last 15 tips from my factsheet: “25 Tips to Growing and Managing Cover Crops”.

Tip 11: Soil Microbes (especially bacteria) are like soluble bags of fertilizer and directly feed plant.  There is about 1000-2000X more soil microbes associated with live roots than bare soil.  Plants supply 25-45% of their total carbohydrate root reserves to feed soil microbes which retrieve soil nutrients more efficiently than plant roots hairs. Bonus: Beneficial microbes love sugar in small amounts, so add 1# sugar/Acre to nutrient, herbicide, fungicide spray applications.

Jim Hoorman, Hoorman Soil Health Services

Tip 12:  Use grasses with fibrous roots (cereal rye, oats, barley) before soybeans to maximize phosphorous uptake. Cereal rye controls weeds through competition for light and nutrients, allelopathy (natural herbicides in stem and leaves), and reduces diseases by keeping the soil drier due to transpiration (loss of water to the atmosphere).… Continue reading

Read More »

2022 Ohio Crop Tour (South)

Fayette County

Corn: It was a thin stand of corn and the soil type did not help. We saw more GLS than we have seen in other fields. The yield was 140 bushels.

Fayette Co. corn
Fayette Co. corn

Soybeans: The beans looked good but they had a long way to go. There were a lot of blooms but no pods. Nodes were about 2.5 inches apart. With more rains these beans will make 45 bushels. 

Fayette Co. beans

Greene County

Corn: This was thick 20-inch corn with a population of 38,000. The yield was 236 in the best corn on this leg of the trip. It was planted in mid-May. There were discolored, aborted kernels on a couple of ears, otherwise no disease or insect problems.

Greene Co. corn
Greene Co. corn

Soybeans: The canopy was nearly 40 inches. There were some pods aborting with nodes 2.5 to 3 inches apart.… Continue reading

Read More »